From the Caribbean to Canada, Tel Aviv to Tokyo our staff reveals where they're traveling to this season
Charles Scalesse, Lead Mobile Engineer: "I recently took a trip down to St. Martin in the Caribbean, where my days were filled with plenty of beach time on my favorite stretch of sand, Orient Beach. It's the perfect spot for snorkeling, scuba diving and parasailing (note: it's also a topless beach and there's even a designated birthday suits only section). Maho Bay is a close second and it's incredible to be so close to the airliners as they fly in and out of Princess Juliana International Airport. For dinner, I recommend L'Auberge Gourmande; I loved the baked goat cheese, Roquefort and roasted pecans in phyllo. Afterwards, sip sundowners at Sky Beach Bar, a swanky rooftop lounge that's hidden from the main drag with a fun crowd and a chill vibe."
Rob Deeming, CEO: "I just got back from a last-chance ski vacation to Park City, Utah, where I shredded powder at the Canyons Resort. It’s one of the best ski destinations in the world and has enough runs and a variety of terrain to keep even the most skilled skier busy for a few days. I skipped lunch on the piste and ate at The Farm at the base of the gondola – the locally sourced food was delicious (a must-try is the mac and cheese with bourbon and bacon). And when I wasn’t on the slopes, I hit up High West Distillery and washed down my bison steak with an old fashioned (or two). Movies buffs should check out the Park City Film Series. Screenings are held at the Arthouse Cinema, where I took in A Royal Affair."
Shaun Stewart, VP, Sales & Operations: "I kicked off spring a little early with a trip down to Charleston, South Carolina, for the Food & Wine Festival and stayed at Charleston Place – the city’s grande dame hotel. It has a subdued vibe during the day, but comes alive in the evening and makes a great spot for pre- or post-dinner drinks. I gorged myself on out-of-this-world meals like “Kentuckyaki” pig ear lettuce wraps and cornmeal fried North Carolina catfish with fried cabbage, purple cape beans and tomato gravy at Husk. If you're into the brunch scene, I suggest eating at Hominy Grill for southern staples like sautéed shrimp with scallions, mushrooms and bacon over cheesy grits, best paired with a Bloody Mary (go local and swap the vodka for bourbon). Or, please your palate at High Cotton – they serve donuts as appetizers before main dishes like chicken dumpling soup and chicken and waffles (my favorite entrée, hands-down)."
Andrew Skwarek, Senior Producer: "After cashing in on a low-priced flight to Honolulu, I spent eight days exploring Oahu and Kauai by catamaran, by helicopter and by foot. I hiked to the top of Diamond Head before mastering the stand-up paddleboard with Big Wave Dave. The best way to see Oahu is by cruising around in a convertible (splurging on the Mustang was well worth it) – I stopped to watch surfers ride enormous waves on the North Shore, taste soft-serve pineapple ice cream at the Dole plantation and chow down on garlic shrimp and rice at Givoanni’s Shrimp Truck. But my last day was the most memorable: I sailed on a catamaran along Kauai’s stunning Na Pali Coast. After disembarking, I picked up some poke (a raw salad that usually consists of mahi-mahi or ahi tuna marinated with sesame oil and spices) and a 12-pack of Longboard Lager at Ishihara Market and drove to the base of Polihale State Park’s towering cliffs to watch a glorious sunset on the beach."
Charlotte Steinway, Editorial Producer: "Spring is the best time to experience Austin. While I was there for SXSW, I indulged in some first-rate Texas barbecue at the South 1st Street food truck La Barbecue Cuisine Texicana, which offers free drafts of Lone Star beer while you wait. You can't go wrong ordering the brisket, pulled pork, and a side of chipotle cole slaw. Some other highlights were kayaking across Ladybird Lake (it separates Austin from South Austin) and shopping for vintage threads and locally designed goods on SoCo (short for South Congress Ave.) – Lucy in Disguise With Diamonds, Allens Boots and Feathers Boutique were some standouts."
Stephan Eberhart, Market Manager: "In Toronto I stuffed myself to the gills at Grand Electric, a hip taco bar with rocking tunes that uses locally sourced produce and protein; when the sun is shining, I recommend snagging a table on the outdoor patio. Java aficionados should definitely check out Nadege. This modern coffee shop on the edge of Trinity Bellwoods Park serves pastries reminiscent of a Parisian bistro and a mean cup of Joe. For a casual meal, try Canteen, located below the international cinema house, TIFF Bell Lightbox. I gobbled up the semolina gnocchi with slow roasted lamb and rosemary. Afterwards, head upstairs to screen independent films and classic flicks."
Tracy Fogel, Software Engineer: "I celebrated Passover with my family in Israel. My trip started in Jerusalem, where I stayed at Inbal in the centrally located Talbiya neighborhood. I ate at Kadosh, a European-style cafe that opened in 1967, and strolled from the Mamilla pedestrian mall to the Old City of Jerusalem, where I walked through the Arab shuk and the Jewish quarter and went to afternoon prayers at the Western Wall. After that, I stayed a week on the Israeli side of the Dead Sea – the lowest place on Earth – and lounged poolside with an unobstructed view of the arid landscape. I continued on to the David Intercontinental in Tel Aviv near the lovely Neve Tzedek neighborhood and Mediterranean Sea, where I spent my last few days browsing the fresh foods at the Carmel Market, shopping along Dizengoff Street and looking for retro-style dresses at Roni Kantor boutique."
Lindsey Goldstein, Market Manager: "I’m flying to Mexico’s Riviera Maya for some much-needed R&R at the all-inclusive Luxury Resort Grand Velas. I'm going to hang by the pool, swim with dolphins, explore the jungle by zipline or ATV and venture out to Playa del Carmen for some nightlife. I'm also setting aside an entire day to relax at the hotel’s spa, and saving time to explore the ancient Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza and Uxmal."
Sara D'Souza, Editorial Producer: "I'm hopping over to Japan at the end of April and plan on checking in to the Andon, which bills itself as Tokyo's first designer hotel. I'm excited to belt out some tunes at a few karaoke bars and see some traditional Kabuki at the famous Kabukiza Theatre, which just reopened a few days ago. And, given it's the tail end of the Hanami, I'll be hot-footing it to Mount Fuji to try and catch the gorgeous cherry blossoms. I'm a big food fan, so I'm also stopping in Kyoto, one of the most Michelin-starred cities in the world."
East Coast Roadtrip
April Ellis, Associate Photo Editor: "At the end of May, my family and I are flying down to Palm Coast, Fla., to pick up some new wheels from my in-laws and drive them back to New York City. We want to stop at Jekyll or Cumberland Island in Georgia to spot wild horses before continuing to Charleston for sightseeing (I'm looking forward to visiting Rainbow Row and the old City Market as well as shopping on King Street). Our next leg will be Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, for some sun and sand before heading to my hometown of Cambridge, Maryland, to visit my family. Some must-dos while I'm in my old nabe: kayaking in the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, eating at the Tidewater Inn and grabbing a cup of coffee at A Few of My Favorite Things."
West Coast Roadtrip
Leigh Crandall, Managing Editor: "I'm setting out on a road trip down the California coast later this month, starting with four days in the Bay Area where a lunch of clam chowder at Hog Island Oyster Co. and browsing the specialty food shops at the Ferry Building are on the top of my to-do list. Then, I'll go south to Monterey for shopping and gallery-hopping along Cannery Row. The next day I'm hiking in Big Sur, stopping for a cliffside lunch at the Post Ranch Inn and then on to El Encanto in Santa Barbara for downtime at their pool and spa."